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Is it really harder to get rid of excess weight in old age?
It is not unusual for people of old age to no longer have the figure from previous years. If too much hip gold has accumulated, this is often attributed to the fact that it becomes more difficult to lose weight from the middle of life. But is that really true?
Obesity is a health hazard
Being overweight is a health hazard. For example, those who weigh too many pounds are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes. According to health experts, even minimal weight loss would have significant positive effects. But it is usually not so easy to get rid of excess pounds. Especially not for the elderly. But does that really have to do with age?
With increasing age, you have to reduce more calories
Older people sometimes justify their hip gold with explanations such as: “It is harder to get rid of obesity in old age”. Michael Boschmann from the Center for Clinical Research at the Charité Universitätsmedizin - Berlin confirms that this is actually the case in a message from the dpa news agency.
“It gets more difficult with age. You have to reduce more calories than younger people, ”said the expert. There are several reasons for this.
After the middle of life, the fat mass increases
People who overeat at a young age do not gain weight immediately. Rather, as Boschmann explains, the body tries to give off the excess energy as heat. However, the body adjusts to excess calories after several years.
"Mostly in the mid to late 30s, the body obviously adjusts a target value for the body fat percentage, and you gain weight," says the doctor. It takes time to get rid of the kilos after the setpoint adjustment.
In addition, from the middle to the end of 50, the muscle mass already decreases physiologically, while the fat mass increases. This has consequences: As the agency report states, the basal metabolic rate, i.e. the energy required to maintain all body functions, drops.
Men 60 years and older need up to 400 calories and women up to 300 calories less. However, if you continue to eat as before, you gain weight.
Crash diets don't make sense
Boschmann emphasizes that it is particularly important to reduce calorie intake if you want to lose weight. According to the expert, crash diets are not useful.
Other experts see it that way too. Even scientific studies have shown that diets bring almost nothing. A radical cure can also be a health hazard.
How quickly to lose weight
When asked at what speed losing weight makes sense, Prof. Dr. med. Helmut Gohlke from the board of the German Heart Foundation, during a heart foundation consultation, that people who want to reduce their weight should use simple values to make sure that the daily amount of calories is not too low.
He also referred to the recommendations of the German Obesity Society: "In order to reduce body weight, a reduction in diet should aim at a daily energy deficit of around 500 kcal / day, in some cases even higher."
Step by step
In the dpa report, it is advised that instead of a crash diet, it is better to lose a maximum of ten percent of the initial weight and then keep the reduced body weight for at least three months.
Then you can take on the next five to ten percent. In this way it is best to shift the adjusted setpoint back to "normal".
Michael Boschmann from the Charité recommends above all movement such as gardening, climbing stairs, frequent changes of sitting and standing and walking - ideally at least 10,000 steps a day. This activates the fat metabolism and maintains muscle mass and fitness.
Regular exercise is also recommended. It drives away the constant hunger, as has been shown in scientific studies. In addition, more pounds can be lost by building muscle, which is why experts often recommend special strength training. (ad)